Bogor (TheInsiderStories) – Commemorating the 60th diplomatic anniversary with Indonesia, Japan has indicated it is ready to invest more than Rp200 trillion (US$15 billion) in support of the country’s infrastructure projects, ministers revealed on Jan. 19.
‘I welcome the glorious arrival of representatives of Japanese authorities in the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Indonesia-Japan relationship. In my meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Manila we discussed ways to expedite our infrastructure projects,’ President Joko Widodo stated during his meeting with Toshihiro Nikai, a Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Japan, at Bogor Palace.
Minister For Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono explained that Japan will become involved in six projects, namely, Patimban Port Project in West Java, Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) East – West Project Phase I in Great Jakarta areas, Jakarta – Surabaya Railway Project, Trans Sumatra Toll Road Project, Masela Oil & Gas Project and Fisheries projects in outer regions, such as Natuna and Morotai Island.
According to Basuki, Japan has agreed to lend PT Hutama Karya funds to develop the Padang – Bukit Tinggi – Pekanbaru Toll Roads, projects which are estimated to require Rp37 trillion. The country is also ready to provide loans for tunnel and road construction on the project.
Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi added that Patimban is expected to start running in March 2019, and will be developed as a port with a capacity of 7 million TEUs for a car terminal. The estimated investment for the projects is approximately Rp20 trillion, including building access to the new port.
Furthermore, He said, MRT project Phase I will be operational by early next year, and a feasibility study is now going on. The first phase of the East-West project will need around Rp80 trillion, including an elevated section.
‘For the East-West projects we asked for more detailed requirements of the DOT (Development of Transit), how local contractors are to be involved and how they can enter,’ Sumadi said.
Furthermore, he confirmed that Japan will cover the Rp70 trillion Jakarta-Surabaya railway project. A feasibility study of the project is targeted to be completed by March.
The first phase will reportedly be a Jakarta-Semarang section, anticipated to be completed within two years. The second, Semarang-Surabaya phase, will start up construction in 2019.
Sumadi stated that the semi-fast train will be able to cover the Jakarta-Surabaya route within five hours, at a maximum speed of 140 kilometers per hour. In the construction of level crossings, both for flyovers and underpasses. [I think you mean ‘Flyovers and underpasses will eliminate all level crossings’.]
A Jakarta-Surabaya medium-speed railway is expected to reduce the eight- to nine-hour travel time between Java’s two largest cities to only five hours. He noted that there are at least 1,000 level railroad crossings along the route between Jakarta and Surabaya and the government needs to construct a double track with railroad crossings displaced, as well as setting up overhead electricity lines.
In a conversation with Widodo, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stated that Nikai conveyed a message from Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe underscoring the importance of Indonesian leadership for Japan and the region. The President, she said, also asked for Japan’s support for upcoming Asian Games.
‘There were also discussions about cooperation in the environmental field, for example for the Citarum River. The Deputy Minister of the Environment will also initiate a study of the Citarum river to assess what sort of cooperation is feasible,’ Marsudi said.